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Teen Pregnancy: Cooler than Ever!

By Rebecca Odes |

teen pregnancyThe teenage pregnancy rate in the U.S. has been steadily declining since 1991. Until recently. A CDC study released last week shows that teen pregnancies have actually been on the rise in recent years, and are holding steady.

One big change:  More people think teenage pregnancy is a good thing.

The survey showed a huge jump in the number of teen boys and girls who thought it was fine for a teenage girl to be pregnant. Around 70% of girls and 65% of boys said they were okay with it.

The other big (and perhaps related) change was the number of teens who reported using the rhythm method for birth control, which has risen significantly. The rhythm method is not considered particularly unreliable for young women, who may not have totally regular cycles, or be as stringent as required for maximum effectiveness.

The CDC isn’t clear on why this rise is happening. Some have suggested that there’s a correlation to high profile teen pregnancies in the media, from Juno to Britney to Bristol Palin. So if the next survey shows a drop in the teen pregnancy rate, can we assume it’s due to MTV’s scary 16 and Pregnant?

photo: Polina Sergeeva/flickr

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About Rebecca Odes


Rebecca Odes

Rebecca Odes is a writer, artist and mother. She was inspired to write her blog, From The Hips, during her first pregnancy when she discovered every pregnancy book she came across made her feel anxious or irritated. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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0 thoughts on “Teen Pregnancy: Cooler than Ever!

  1. SW says:

    I don’t think its a good idea at all! I know when I was a teenager there was no way I could take care of a baby. Im sure teen celebrities getting pregnant don’t help much either. Girls see them in magazines posing with their new babies and they want to be like them. But those pictures don’t show what its like to have a newborn and raise a child. Having a baby is a beautiful thing, but when your still a kid yourself its not as glamorous as the media makes it out to be.

  2. Ella says:

    I think the point of this is not so much that teens WANT to be pregnant, but there there is much less of a stigma attached, which is a good thing. I don’t even think more girls are getting pregnant, just that fewer are getting abortions. Many young girls get them out of fear of their families, or fear of social repercussions. And I think no matter what side you are on, fewer abortions is a good thing.

  3. ceridwen says:

    I definitely crossed my legs when watching 16 and Pregnant… Man, that show is hardcore scary. And I would hope it would help teens not want to have babies Dr. Drew did a special with the stars of the show where he was pretty much scolding them. Not sure how effective that was– it felt a little like he was taking power away from them even as he was trying to help them make “good decisions.” I’d be curious to know what this kind of media is doing to the culture of teen pregnancy. There seems to be another MTV or vh1 show for teens about dads– I saw an ad for it last night. Sometimes shows like these that are meant to deter people end up doing the reverse. Just repeated images of pregnant teens in their bedrooms might make a stronger more lasting (and positive) impression than the attached commentary.

  4. Rye says:

    Living in the shadow of baby boomers I don’t understand why it’s surprising that so many of the younger generations have opted out of following in their footsteps.

    Most of them are unfulfilled with their career-first lifestyles and now in their 60s are trying to recapture their youth and do all that they missed out on while at the same time they’ve made entire cities impossible to live in as a young person. What young person has enough money for a two bedroom house that costs $800,000?

    Not surprising that some decide to cut their losses before investing a decade or two of their lives towards that sort fo thing and have a child young and try to be a homemaker. To them there’s a much higher chance of enjoyment and happiness with far less chronological cost.

  5. WildernessBarbie says:

    “I think no matter what side you are on, fewer abortions is a good thing.” Sorry, but I disagree with the context of that statement. If fewer abortions means more kids having kids instead as you suggest, that is, for society as a whole, a very bad thing. It means more kids dropping out of school, more kids on welfare and other support, more generations being born into poverty, more bad role models and deteriorating family structures, more single moms, more child abuse… the problem is exponential.

    Fewer abortions over all because fewer girls are getting pregnant because sex ed and access to birth control has improved and girls have better role models to emulate so as to not be having sex as early and/or often… that would be unquestionably good for everyone.

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